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Warri Stadium:As 2009 FIFA U-17 draws hold in Abuja – Nigeria, Germany, Honduras and Argentina in group of death

FIFA Executive Director of competitions President Jim Brown presided over the draws ceremony which was spiced with captivating cultural dances from across the country depicting the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria.

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Before the draws were made, Chairman of Nigeria 2009, FIFA Vice-President Jack Warner expressed satisfaction with facilities provided by Nigeria for the championship saying those who acted as prophets of doom have been brought to shame.

He used the opportunity to apologize to the governor of Bauchi State Isa Yuguda for exposing him to undue pressure which could have made the state to lose the opportunity to host matches of the championship.

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Warner therefore apologized and handed over to the governor an award from FIFA as he asked the state governor to find space in his heart to forgive him.

Nigeria’s Vice-President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in his keynote address thanked FIFA for considering Africa worthy of hosting three of its most prestigious competitions namely World U-20 championship, Egypt 2009, U-17 Nigeria 2009 and the senior World Cup South Africa 2010.

He expressed hope that during the duration of the competition, global attention will be on the continent of Africa and it would be a golden opportunity for African youths to show the stuff they are made of.

Minister of sports Engineer Sani Ndanusa and NFF President Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi both pledged a hitch free championship.

While the sports minister thanked President Yar’Adua for his unflinching support, Lulu acknowledged FIFA’s contributions as he promised visiting teams the hospitality of Nigerians.

The draws proper was presided over by FIFA Executive Director of competitions, Jim Warner who was assisted by Nduka Ugbade, Samson Siasia, Mercy Akide, Tijani Babangida, Victor Ikpeba, and Peter Rufai all former Nigerian internationals.

The opening match in group A (Abuja) will be between defending champions Nigeria and Germany, in group B (Lagos), Brazil will take on Japan, group C ( Calabar) will open with the match between Iran and African champions Gambia, group D( Enugu) will have Turkey against Burkina Faso. The opening match in group E (Kano) will be between UAE against Malawi while group F (Kaduna) will have the match between Uruguay and Korea Republic.


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